Monday, January 31, 2011

In Which I Search For Some Betas

Well, the time has come. I'm allllllmost done with my most recent line edit on Glimpse (just finishing up the whole "read backwards" edit. I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a great way to edit each sentence on it's own merit)

The novel has been read by Twin, and by the sparkling (but not in a vampire sort of way) Hannah and is in the hands of my other Crit Partner Teebore. It's also been sent to a few non-writers (Brother and some fabulous friends) So, now it's time to reach out to the rest of my awesome blog pals.

I am looking for a few Beta Readers for my YA Fantasy Glimpse of Another Shore.

logline = A boy rescues an orphaned sea serpent and discovers a way to save his home from war.

My sea serpent is not this scary

Things I would require in a beta reader:

  • I'm looking for someone who reads YA. I really need someone who has a good feel for the YA audience.

  • You have to be willing to read the entire manuscript. I'll email the whole thing to you.

  • You have to be willing to read the entire manuscript in a month or less. I want to give people time to read it, but I also want people who will be willing to commit.

  • You have to be willing to answer a questionnaire sent with the manuscript. It's not a huge list of questions, but it'll be included with the email.

In return, I can beta read for you if you would like me to.

If you are interested and fit the criteria, either comment on this post or shoot me an email at sarah.ahiers (at) I'm looking for 2-3 peeps and I hope to hear from you.

Otherwise, how are you doing? Are you working with betas for your novel?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Fun

Hiya All! Yvie's back to add some zazz in your day so you can be prepared for the weekend.

Hey, do you remember all those months ago when I went to that casting call/photo shoot?

Well now my photos (well and Tula's, though she doesn't have as many as me) are posted on the website for all the world to see!

Click here and scroll down to see Tula and me!

Maybe someday soon I will be a famous actress! Don't worry, ape-friends - when that day comes, I will still deign to provide the Friday Fun


funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures - A good time to start... ...Praying, Mantis.

funny pictures - Happy Chair is Happy: Stephen King's 'The Dark Mower' Series

funny pictures - All roads lead to...

funny pictures - Your  opposable  thumbs make you necessary.

See you all next week!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

In Which I Give Away Free Books

So I bought a new bookshelf at Ikea and organized some of my books. I sold a few bags to Half-Price Books, but I kept out any that were writing related to offer up as prizes to blog readers.

Yeah, that's right, today's post is a drawing for free stuff!

Funny Pictures - Surprised Eagle Gif
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I'm offering two prize packs.

Prize pack 1 includes:

Walking On Alligators: A book of meditations for writers
Word Painting: A guide to writing more descriptively
A blank journal, unlined.

Prize Pack 2 includes:

Chicken Soup for the Writer's Soul
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Romance Writing
A blank journal, unlined.

As stated, these are used books, but they are in very good condition and in the case of the journals, they're brand new, they've just been sitting on my bookshelves.

What do you have to do to win one of these prize packs?

Fill out the form! It's super simple.

You can enter through Jan 31st and I'll post the winners on Feb 2nd.

Easy peasy.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Top Ten Countdown - Music Blogfest

Blogfest time! Another one put on by Mister Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Here are the deets:

Counting down our top tunes of all time!
Music moves us. It inspires us! Now, tell the world YOUR ten favorite songs of all time. The Song, the band – why does it move you?

It's going to be hard to just stick to 10 songs, but I thought I'd give it a try.

I posted videos for all the songs, but in case you're reading this on your work PC and you can't get videos, there's also a playlist embeded at the bottom of the post with all the songs.

So here we go! (in no particular order)

Artist: Fuel
Song: Hemorrhage in My Hands

Fuel - Hemorrhage (In My Hands)
Uploaded by shamrock8. - Watch more music videos, in HD!

Notes: Ooh I love this song. Every time I hear it, I love it. LOVE it. I can't even specify why I love it so much, I just do.

Favorite Lyrics: "Memories are just where you laid them/Dragging the waters until the depths give up their dead"

Favorite Spot in Song: 2:49

Artist: Smashing Pumpkins
Song: Stand Inside Your Love

Notes: I have a good friend from high school who LURVES Smashing Pumpkins. When we lived together for our junior year in college, I, too, developed a love for the Pumpkins. If pressed, I would have to say Stand Inside Your Love is my favorite Pumpkins song. Though I would also have to say that 50% of why I love this song so much is because of the video. When he kisses her foot at the end? I'm sold.

Favorite Lyrics: "And for the first time/I'm telling you how much I need and bleed for/Your every move and waking sound/In my time/I'll wrap my wire around your heart and your mind/You're mine forever now"

Favorite Spot in Song: 3:23 until the end

Artist: Linkin Park
Song: Papercut

Notes: Ahhh Linkin Park. They were the gateway to my music taste change after highschool (from alternative to hard rock). I can listen to Hybrid Theory on a continuous loop and not get tired of it. I know this because I have. On many different occasions for months at a time. Out of the whole excellent album, Papercut is my favorite song. The bridge in the middle? Awesome.

Favorite Lyrics: "The sun goes down/I feel the light betray me"

Favorite Spot in Song: 2:09

Artist: Metallica
Song: Until it Sleeps

Notes: My favorite Metallica song. Nothing much more to it than that. I just love it. I actually prefer the live version a bit better, but the music video is awesome so you get to hear the album version

Favorite Lyric: "Tear me open, make you gone/No more can you hurt anyone/And the fear still shakes me/So hold me until it sleeps"

Favorite Spot in Song: 0.26

Artist: Queen
Song: Save Me

Notes: It's hard to pick a favorite Queen song. We grew up on Queen in my house. I remember dancing to Fat Bottomed Girls and Bicycle on record when we were kids. But if pushed to choose only one queen song, I do love me some Save Me.

Favorite Lyric: "Each night I cry/I still believe the lie/I'll love you 'til I die"

Favorite Spot: 0.24

Artist: The Beatles
Song: Eleanor Rigby

Notes: It's hard to find a decent Eleanor Rigby video so the above will have to do. Who doesn't like Eleanor Rigby? It's awesome. Throw in the string quartet, which is always a plus for me since it reminds me of my violin days, and you've got a winner on your hands.

Favorite Lyric: "Eleanor Rigby died in the church and was buried along with her name/Nobody came/Father Mckenzie wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave/No one was saved"

Favorite Spot in Song: 0.33

Artist: Fair to Midland
Song: Tall Tales Taste Like Sour Grapes

Notes: Sorry, hard to find any live videos that have a decent sound quality so instead we get a lyrcis video. Boring.
I think if I was stuck on a deserted island and could only have one album to listen to, it would probably be Fables from a Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times is True. I love that album. And of all the wonderful songs on it, this is my favorite. This song and one other really defined Glimpse of Another shore for me.

Favorite Lyrics: "These walls don't talk/Even when somebody knocks/These walls don't stand/For anyone else but themselves/These walls won't fall/Even when gravity's failing us all"

Favorite Spot in Song: 3.10

Artist: Indigo Girls
Song: Dead Man's Hill

Notes: My and Twin's three closest friends in highschool LURVED the Indigo Girls. Loved them. Twin and I had our own music tastes and mostly stayed out of the Indigo Girls love. But once we were on a road trip to a cabin and one of our friend's put this song on and I was hooked. It makes me a little sad that, by that point, we were pretty much out of highschool and my music tastes would change drastically in the next year, but I still have this album (and listen to it a lot) and still love this song

Favorite Lyrics: "Empty cans and charred remains/Find them in the heat of day/On the top of Dead Man's Hill/This is what I know of shame forever"

Favorite Spot in Song: 4:13

Artist: Incubus
Song: Dig

Notes: I love this song. It's my favorite Incubus song (and Stellar is a hard one to beat out). It reminds me of my dogs and how much I love them. Also it reminds me of how much I love Incubus. Which is a lot. Also I like songs that are self-referential.

Favorite Lyrics: "If I turn into another/Dig me up from under what is covering/The better part of me/Sing this song/Remind me that we'll always have each other/When everything else is gone"

Favorite Spot in Song: 0.47

Artist: Fleetwood Mac (though video is Dixie Chicks cover)
Song: Landslide

Notes: I like Landslide so much that it's one of those songs that I like every version of it. It doesn't matter if it's Fleetwood Mac, Dixie Chicks or Billy Corgan. I chose the Dixie Chicks version for the video because I dig the harmonies

Favorite Lyrics: "Well I've been afraid of changing/'Cause I've built my life around you/But time makes you bolder/Children get older/I'm getting older too/Yes I'm getting older too"

Favorite Spot in Song: 0.49

So there you have it, 10 of my most favorite songs. I had to leave some off my list, but as it stands, it's a pretty good representative of me.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

In Which I Give A Shoutout

The awesome Maria Zannini is having a follower contest where one person will win a FULL MANUSCRIPT Critique and a runner up will receive a 3 chapter (or 20K word) critique.

AND! If she gets 200 followers by 1/26/11 she will add A THIRD PRIZE!

At the time of this writing she's already at 178 followers, so jump on over, click that follow button and then fill out her form!

Trust me, she's awesome.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Fun

Hiya Ape-Friends! Yvie's back, to zazz up your Fridays and get you all prepared for the fun that is...THE WEEKEND.

Bunnies think they're so great...

Funny Pictures - Bunny Gif
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I know what it's like to have a bestest stuffie pal to cuddle with and nom

Funny Pictures - Cat Hugs Teddy Bear Gifs
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This Kitty knows how to get the attention he deserves

Funny Pictures - Cat Knocks Down Cards Gif
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This frenchie has it right. All your sleds are belong to the frenchies.

And I thought dogs liked balls...

And that's it for this week! See you next Friday pals!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

In Which I'm Honorably Mentioned

As the title suggests, I snagged an Honorable Mention in The Sharp Angle's contest fittingly titled "The Awesome".

The contest involved sending in the first 500 words of your novel and Lydia would pick the one which had the most potential as a grand prize winner (props to Anne over at Piedmont Writer for first attracting my attention to the contest).

She had something, like, 83 entrants. Which is a lot.

The best part about "The Awesome" is that everyone who entered got a critique on their entry.

I've been in a bit of a worry mood the last week or so. I don't know why, I've just been stressing over my beginning of Glimpse. So when I got the critique (which was pretty glowing) and then snagged an Honorable mention, well it really helped turn my attitude around.

Leave it to the writing blog community to turn my frown upside down.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

In Which I Hit A Webinar

So on Thursday of last week, I attended the Writer's Digest Webinar Starting Off Right: How to hook an agent with your first pages (this may not be the exact title. I was dumb and forgot to write it down. It's close though and I'm sure you get the gist)

I heard about this webinar from the lovely Roni over at Fiction Groupie, since it was her agent, Sara Megibow, putting on the webinar. The best part of the webinar? It comes with a critique of the participant's first 3 pages! Awesome, right? Totally worth the money. It's like they knew what bait to hang in front of us to entice us in

Funny Pictures - Chinchilla Gif
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(also, she stated that, if she likes the first pages, she may ask for more. How awesome is she?)

Anyway, I took notes during the webinar so I could write this blogpost and let you all know what Sara said. I have to say, when the webinar was done, I felt totally confident. She said very little that surprised me and it seems I am on the right track.

She broke it up into a "why" and a "how" section, though most of the seminar was in the "how" section.

WHY (is it important to start off right)

  • The agent has to be engaged immediately
  • Sara says, for her to offer representation, she must love the manuscript AND think she can sell it
  • She also almost always knows within the first three pages if she loves the novel
  • She is actively looking for new clients (and she's with the Nelson Literary Agency. Pretty snazzy, IMO)
  • She is looking for: YA, MG, Romance, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Women's Fiction and Literary Fiction with a commercial bent

That was pretty much it for the "Why" it's important to start off strong. She then went into the "How" and this was broken down to "Hot" and "Not Hot" sections

HOW (to start off strong)
HOT (what she likes to see)

There needs to be:
1. A clear inciting incident
2. Compelling Characterization
3. Command of the basics

1. the writer needs to be able to explain in 1 or 2 sentences what propels the novel forward. This should also be in your query. She says it is essential for the writer to be able to do this. For her, it is a deal breaker if there is no clear inciting incident

2. Why do we care about the characters? This is clearly important and good characterization needs to be present early on

3. This is broken down into more sections:

  • Superior writing. If you do not have a firm understanding of the basics of writing, this is a deal breaker for her. She stated multiple times that a writer needs to master the art of writing before one pursues the business of publication
  • Unique concept. Which mean, no vampires, no super powered children discovering they're the key to saving the world, no women opening bead and breakfasts, and in sci-fi and fantasy, no prophecies and cliches. None of these things are deal breakers, but you'd better have an interesting spin on it to make her love it or think she can sell it.
  • Effortless world building. She wants to be engaged by the world.
  • Realistic character motivation. For example, if your character finds a body, that character better have a damn good reason for investigating the murder instead of doing the actually believable thing of calling the police

NOT HOT (what she does not like to see)

1. Data dump - we all know this is a no-no for the beginning of your novel

2. Ineffective use of dialogue - all the examples she showed were obvious things such as "as you know, David, I'm the king and was crowned thirteen years ago on your birthday".

3. telling vs. showing - again, she stated the necessity to have masted the art of writing before jumping into the business of publication

4. mistakes with POV - a deal breaker for her would be an adult narrator in a YA novel. Or strange narrators like houses or jewelry.

5. prologues or dream sequences - this isn't a deal breaker for her, because they can be cut if needed, but it is a red flag. And if you've got some marks against you in other areas (sloppy grammar, etc) you're probably in for a form rejection.

Then the last few minutes of the seminar were wrapped up in questions. A lot of the questions were unproductive or had already been answered (questions about prologues, or questions regarding queries, which the seminar did not address) but I took a few notes.

  • it's good to keep momentum moving in the beginning. Shortening chapters is a way to do this, but isn't necessary
  • always keep queries short - like back cover
  • if the novel's momentum slows in a scene, it's typically due to too much data
  • For genre fiction - opening with action is important (though, for fantasy, it's acceptable to start off slower)
  • prose and imagery can function as a hook, however this is harder in genre fiction
  • if an agency's submission guidelines don't say it's not OK to submit to more than one agent in the agency, then you're probably OK to query more than one agent
  • read other books in your genre - especially what's selling well and has good reviews
  • if you're looking for critiques of your work from people "in the biz" she recommends the annual Brenda Novak auction (the link she gave is broken. Usually though there's a lot of buzz for it around the time). Yes it will cost money, but it's for a good cause (though in my experience, it's huge leaps above what I could afford).

And that was pretty much everything she talked about!

I would definitely recommend this type of webinar in the future for anyone who's interested.

I hope this helped, and now I'm off to work on my first three pages to submit for her critique.

Monday, January 17, 2011

In Which We Discuss POV And Gender Language

If you remember, last week we had some fun discussions regarding critiques, and I gave a few examples of what my critiquer "Jane" said to me that got me all riled up.

She actually said quite a lot of stuff, but here were some things that left me confused and then concerned.

So, I have some questions for all y'all

1. Does the gender of the MC designate the gender of the audience in YA?

Specifically, my novel is from Pier's POV. Pier is a 16 year old boy. Critiquer "Jane" at one point said "since you main character is a boy, your novel is targeted at boys."

Is this true? Because I didn't write it with boys particularly in mind. Not necessarily girls either, but it's probably slanted that way a bit. If I was aiming only at boys, I would have had less kissing, angst and more action.

I know there's a school of thought that young boys won't read books with female MCs, but that's a different issue she brought up here, which is, since my MC is a boy, I should write the book so it's targeted at boys.

2. Do specific words have Gender correlations?

This is related to the last question. Because, as she said, my book is "targeted at boys" I needed to use less feminine language. Examples she listed were:

Sauntered (which she said, in her opinion, reminded her of girls and runway models)

Lacerations (which she stated was feminine language and also too advanced for the 12-15 aged boys who my book is "targeted at")

Two of the characters (Lani and Nemmy) have names that end in "ee" sounds. She said "ee" sounds are kind of girly (and again, this is an issue for her because she feels the books is targeted at young boys)

So these things made me wonder. I used laceration because Pier and his younger sister spend a lot of time at a friend's house, who's dad is a vet. They would use the word laceration and know what it means.
And saunter, well as far as I ever knew, just refers to a leisurely walk.
The "ee" names are nicknames for both the characters. In high school, almost all my friends had nicknames, they often ended in "ee" sounds, and the guys as well as the girls in the clique used them.

Again, I didn't want to just toss out the whole crit because she her crits actually helped me figure out how to increase the pace in the first three chapters which I needed and had other good comments.

I just want to make sure that I'm not making a huge mistake and having a male MC appeal to female YA readers as well. And if I should go through and examine pretty much every word.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Fun

Hiya ape-friends! Yvie's back, to add some fun and tomfoolery to your Friday.

Today I've rounded up some fun and cute pictures for your enjoyment. No need to thank me, I do it out of the bottom of my poochy heart.

how can you look at this and not freak out at the cuteness?! Also, I bet it tastes good

Funny Pictures - Paranoid Seal Gif
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All right pals! I'll see you next week!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

In Which We Discuss Critiques Pt. 2

See Monday's post for part one in this short little series on critiques.

So Monday we talked about how to handle the Hit and Miss Critiquer (someone who gives some good material and then some crap so rage-inducing your head may explode)

Today I want to chat about those people who force upon give you a critique when you didn't solicit one.

2 examples:

1. I was chatting with a writing buddy the other day who wishes to remain nameless. We shall call him Cooter. Cooter "meets" another writer online through a writing forum/conference. They exchange a few emails and then Cooter's new friend asks Cooter what his book is about. Cooter sends a reply email with a quick little blurb about what the novel is about. Cooter's new friend then responds with a huge critique of blurb. Cooter is stunned, and more than a little irritated. Cooter replies stating he didn't ask for a crit and the other writer's response is that, as writers, we need to always be "on"

2. Example 2 is something I see quite often in the blogging community, usually tied to blogfests. Someone hosts a blogfest and we all join up and post our pieces. At this point, we're all pretty aware that what everyone else is posting is rough draft, unless stated otherwise. Occasionally you get a blogger who asks for crits or feedback, but in general we're all bloghopping just to see what everyone else posted and to offer words of encouragement. But then, inevitably, there's a blogger who jumps from blog to blog and critiques everyone's blogfest entry. And we're not talking a few thoughts or suggestions here and there (ie: "I was a bit confused here." or "The dialogue read a little stilted"). No, we're talking a 2-3 paragraph crit in the comment of the post. Usually delivered in a "I see a few things you did wrong here. You may not know but you shouldn't use adverbs" or whatever.

Did the blogfest blogger ask for a crit? No.
Does the blogger even really know this other blogger? Probably Not.
Does the blogger know she/he shouldn't use adverbs? Yes. But it's a Rough Draft!

What's up with these people who crit everything they come across? I'm sure some of them mean it to be helpful and friendly, but more often than not it comes off as pretentious.
For reals, if I want a critique of my work from you, I will ask you, or post it on my blog. And to be fair, if I don't really know you at all, chances are I don't want the critique. I keep most of my writing pretty close to my chest.

What do you think? Am I being a hardass on this point? Do you appreciate, or even enjoy unsolicited critiques of your work? Do you believe that as writers we need to be "on" at all times?

Next Monday I'll have another post that, while not directly related to critiquing, will bring up some of the other things "Jane" mentioned on my crits that left me confused.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

In Which I Interrupt My Normal Blog Schedule

To pass on this important information!

I saw this on Holly's page and realized right away that she was right, it was the most important blog post I read ALL DAY!

Google created a “Make Blogger Better” site. What is this, you ask? Well, it's where you can vote on ideas and give your own suggestions to google regarding blogger.

Important ideas.

For reals.

You can either vote on already submitted ideas, or create your own.

One of the main ideas I voted on was

Threaded comments.

Do you know how awesome it would be to be able to reply to each comment on a blog? It would be so much easier to create a dialogue.

Another two ideas I submitted were:

The ability to comment through google reader (oh it would be such a time saver)
The ability to delete a post from google reader (for when we have that accidental post before the blog entry is actually finished. So embarrassing).

So head on over and vote! This is your chance to help make blogger an even better service to serve our little community!


Monday, January 10, 2011

In Which We Discuss Critiques Pt. 1

How was everyone's weekend? Was it fun? Did you win the lottery? Can I have some of your winnings?



Anyway, for all you people who didn't win the lottery, I hope your weekend was full of fun and also of sleeping in.

Today, and for the next post, I want to talk about critiques and some of the weird things that can come about and some of the rage emotions which can sneak up on us during a critique of our work.

For today's post I want to discuss the "hit and miss" critiquer. That is, a person who gives you both a good and a bad critique.

And by "good and bad" I mean "useful/constructive" and "not useful/not constructive"

I'll start with my own example. I had a critique recently from a person I don't know. It was on an online critique... club I guess we'll call it? So the crit was solicited, but I've never met this person, not even in the Internet sort of way we've all "met"

We'll call her Jane (because I'm not super creative right now. Also Jane is easier to type than Shamalamadingdong, which is the first name that came to mind)

So Shama Jane writes a lengthy critique and I would say a good 50% of it is useful. Places she had troubles visualizing. World building questions. Helpful things that I was looking for in a crit.

But, for the remaining 50%, the crit was just crap. Crap to the point where I got really angry. To be fair, I'm quick to anger and quick to cool off (especially if I have no clue who you are and you're giving me a bad crit). Also, some of it was the tone she used (also, to be fair, she had stated straight up that she could be blunt in her crits and she didn't mean anything by it) but here's an example.

Pier hits someone in the face and I make note that the punch hurts his hand.

Her response is "Have you ever hit someone before? It doesn't just hurt your hand, it hurts your whole arm"

So right there, I'm annoyed. Of course I've hit someone before. Actually, Twin, Brother and I smack each other around quite a bit. Alone, I would ignore it. But it continues on in this vein for quite a bit more.

Later I make mention that Pier is a free diver and that he can hold his breath for five minutes after spending months working at it.

Her comments is along the lines of "That's completely unbelievable. No human can hold their breath that long. You've completely lost me as a reader"

(This is when I freaked out in my head.)

It frustrates me, as a writer, that she just assumed I was pulling this out of my ass, that I hadn't done the research on free diving (clearly she didn't even know what free divining was. Otherwise she would know that 5 minutes is pretty average and that the world record free-dive is somewhere around 12 minutes)

So, my question for you is, how do you handle someone who has, what you think are, fair crits and then has a junkload of crits you can't even begin to respect?

Obviously the answer here is to take what you want and discard the rest, but it's hard to separate the good from the bad when the bad makes you question the validity of the good.

Thoughts? Opinions? Stories about horrible crits you'd like to share? Please do so in the comments!

Wednesday will be part 2 of this critique blog post series (Critiques when you least expect them/didn't ask for them)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday Fun

Update: Blog post now with video and picture!

Hello Ape-Friends! Yvie's back, for my first post in 2011. Awesome!

So Wednesday, Mommy thought she was all great and cool with her list of resolutions and opposable thumbs. So what if she can resolve to do things differently and turn door nobs? I'm a dog. I live in the now.

Like: "Why am I not eating RIGHT NOW" and "Why isn't anyone petting me RIGHT NOW"

Like that. Let me tell you, it's a much better way to live. Fact.

But, since it's a new year, I've decided to switch things up a bit. Fridays used to be reserved for Friday Fun Words, where I would make up definitions for word verification words so you humans could increase your vocabularies. No thanks necessary, I'm a charitable dog.

But, over the last year, many bloggers turned off their Verification Words, so the words were less and less. To be fair, Mommy was pretty relieved because she hates typing in verification words in order to comment.

So, now Friday Fun Words will just be Friday Fun. Maybe there will still be the occasional word. And maybe there will be LOLCats or Fun videos or links to other fun blogs.

It can be whatever I want it to be, as long as it's fun. Sounds good, right?


So here is the first video for the new Friday Fun Post!

A quick explanation - this video is a news interview of a woman who was present during a coffee shop robbery. The interview is funny as hell, but the Really funny part is after the video, when the interview is remixed and auto tuned into a song.

It. Is. Awesome.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

In Which We're Into 2011 And There's Still No Zombpoc*

* Zombpoc = zombie apocalypse

Well here we are, my first real post in 2011 (not counting the blogfests I participated in the last few days).

Also, you know what else happened with the passing of the year? We also passed my Blogoversary! That's right, I've been blogging for over 1 whole year. Yay! I blogged 215 times in 2010, which is not too shabby, if I say so myself.

Also with the new year comes new resolutions!

Let's take a look at my resolutions from last year:

2010 Resolutions

1. Start a Blog (Check. Also an extra check for not abandoning said blog)
2. Finish novel (double check. I finished 2 in 2010)
3. Eat healthier (ummm check? I mean there were certainly times where I ate healthy...)
4. Lose weight (no check. I don't remember what my weight was, but I'm probably more now)
5. Submit a query (no check. Though I tacked this one on there on the off chance I would do it)

Not so bad. Certainly the Finish Novel resolution had been on my plate for a few years. Only when I allowed myself to start a new novel did I finally complete it.

So, onto 2011 resolutions:

1. Query Glimpse of Another Shore
2. Finish another novel
3. Get Hole-Ridden published
4. Lose Weight
5. Read 55 books

1. 2011 is going to be my year of the query. This I vow. Not only am I going to query it, I want to start querying hopefully in the next 3-4 months or so. I am excited.

2. NaNo will help with this one

3. I think this is doable - I've been sitting on it a bit since I've been working on Glimpse. I need to send it out again and work on some edits for a mag that said they'd take a second look at it if I made it longer. *Crosses Fingers* (update: I've sent it out again. Already off to a good start!)

4. This is pretty much a constant goal in my life.
5. In 2010 I read 43 books. So I figured adding 12 more as a goal for 2011 would be a nice challenge, but hopefully not ridiculously tough. Then next year, I can adjust the number accordingly

Hmm, I think that may be all I have. Unless I can think of another one or two.
What are your Resolutions/Goals for 2011?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Show Me Yours Blogfest

Yay! Today is the day! The day of the Show Me Yours Blogfest!

Here's a refresher of the rules:

The point of this blogfest is to share an excerpt of your NaNoWriMo novel. It can be any scene but try to keep it at 500 words so we can all get around to as many blogs as possible.

Who's with us?!

The date as you may have noticed is January 3rd, 2011. This will give you time to choose a scene and edit it, revise it, change it...whatever. Feel free to give us a little background about your story or at the very least a title and a genre. That always helps, right?

So if you participated in NaNoWriMo 2010, now's the time to show your skills or your bad writing! Excitement!

So here we are, with my entry. Picking only 500 words was a little tough, so here's a bit of background:

Title: Glimpse of Another Shore
Genre: Fantasy, YA

Pier = MC
Lani = Pier's girlfriend.
Lani's Dad = vet
Rule = sea serpent.

Pier and Rule were chased by a bigger, meaner sea serpent and Rule was hurt, forcing Pier to ask Lani to ask her dad for help.
Umm, I think that's all that's needed. I hope, anyway (if you have any questions, just ask)

Here we go!

We walked around to Rule’s injured side. When I saw the wound again, I knew I’d made the right decision in telling Lani and her father. Even if it made Lani mad at me, and judging by her cold shoulder she was more than just a little angry, I had to do right by Rule. She was only an animal after all.

Lani’s father made a few noises as he carefully probed around the wound. Rule watched all three of us before she nudged Lani with her massive head. Lani stumbled in the water and I reached out to catch her. My sudden movement sent fire along my ribs and I hissed in pain.

Lani’s dad glanced at me. “You should get a doctor to look at those ribs.”

“I’m fine sir. Nothing a little rest won’t fix.”

He grunted and turned to his patient. Lani shot me a dirty look and then occupied herself by rubbing Rule’s head.

“It looks worse than it is,” Lani’s dad announced. “As people we look at this and think there’s no way something could survive such a loss of flesh, but for them it’s not so severe. I’ll get her some medication to help with any pain but that’s about it. She’ll have to heal from the inside out.”

Relief washed over me in a cool wave. I mumbled my thanks to Lani’s dad as he walked to shore to rummage through his case. I leaned against Rule’s shoulder and patted her.

Lani snorted. “You’re unbelievable.”


“I can’t believe you’ve been lying the whole time! When Nemmy’s over at our place, all she ever talks about is Rule, and the whole time you’re here having a blast.”

“Having a blast? I almost died today!”

“And whose fault is that? Also, not to mention, this is the second time you’ve almost died mucking about with Rule!”

“That first time is why I told Nemmy to stay away. You agreed with me!”

“I agreed with you when you said you were both keeping away! I wouldn’t have been so quick to agree if you were just going to sneak here by yourself and lie to Nemmy and me.”

Lani’s dad waded in the water towards us so I leaned closer to her.

“What do you want me to do?” I whispered. “Apologize? Fine, I’m sorry.”

“It doesn’t count if you’re only saying it because I caught you in your lie.”

“You didn’t catch me, I told you!”

Lani scoffed. “Just forget it, Pier. I don’t want to talk to you anymore.”

“Fine,” I snapped.


Lani’s dad appeared with a large syringe filled with a light blue liquid. “This should help her with some of the pain. It’s also got an antibiotic to help her start the healing process. Not that she’ll need it. The waters on this side of the island are notoriously restorative and she’s young. She should be back to normal in a few weeks. Maybe less.”

He gave Rule a series of small injections around the wound. If Rule noticed, she didn’t show any signs. When he was done, he capped the needle and slipped it into his pocket before he faced me.

And that's the end of the 500 words!

I'll be around everyone else's posts throughout the day. I'm so excited to see what everyone wrote for NaNo!
And for those of you who didn't sign up, but want to read everyone else's entries, Mr Linky is over on the right (and also posted on Hannah and Summer's blogs as well)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2nd Annual No Kiss Blogfest

Another blogfest! And I've got news for you, tomorrow is the Show Me Yours Blogfest, so there will be another post then as well.


This is the 2nd Annual No Kiss Blogfest, hosted by Frankie Mallis

What is it?

The No Kiss Blogfest! This is when you get to write a scene or post one from your favorite books, movies, and TV shows that show the almost kiss-- the rising, crushing, excruciating, longing, tension that comes from when two characters get oh-so-close to kissing that you can just feel it....and then...they don't!

Sounds like fun, right?

So here's a scene from the current WIP Glimpse of Another Shore since I just happen to have such a scene. Also, for tomorrow's blogfest there will be another scene regarding these two characters, so check in if you'd like!

Here's some background:

Pier = MC
Lani = Pier's soon to be girlfriend
Nemmy = Pier's younger sister

Pier and Nemmy found a sea serpent. They used Lani's help to treat some of it's lacerations. I think that's pretty much all you need to understand this scene.

And off we go!

“Anyway,” Lani said as she picked up her case. “I’ve got to get back. Dad expects the docks to be fully scrubbed by the time he gets home.”

“I’ll walk you home,” I said and picked up the bait bucket. “Nemmy, don’t stay out here too long, or Mom will start to ask questions.”

“I won’t,” she said, and continued to teach Rule more signals.

“I can’t believe I got to touch a real live serpent,” Lani said as we walked alongside each other on the beach. “I never would have imagined it possible.”

We approached my house and smoke puffed from the oven chimney. Mom had gotten home early from work and started on dinner.

“Yeah, me neither,” I said. “Nemmy seems to have become really attached to her. Still, Every day I hope it will swim away, out into the sea somewhere. As much as Nemmy loves her, I think the whole situation only promises trouble.”

“And when,” Lani looked at me askance. “Has Pier Arvin been afraid of a little trouble?”

I smiled, and snatched her hand. “Since a certain someone disapproves of said trouble.”

“Oh I don’t know. Sometimes I think a little danger can be attractive.” She smiled and tried to free her hand. Instead I tugged her towards me. She shrieked and pushed at me until I lost my balance. I pulled her down onto the sand and landed on top of her.

We laughed for a moment. Then she pushed her hair behind her ears and bit her lower lip.
I should have kissed her. I wanted to kiss her. Instead, as I leaned towards her lips a voice called out.


Bilge. It was Mom. I sighed and rolled off Lani. We scurried to our feet and brushed ourselves free of sand, but it was too late. She’d already seen us.

Lani squeezed my hand and gave me an apologetic look. “I’ll see you later, okay?”

I nodded and Lani released my hand to continue on down the beach to her house. Mom shot Lani a glance and continued over to me.

“Ma, it wasn’t what it looked like,” I said as she approached.

“Isn’t it?” she asked. “Because it looked to me like someone ditched out of work so he could chase a girl.”


So that's it! Now I'm off to read the other No Kiss blogfest entries. I hope to see you back here tomorrow for the fun Show Me Yours Blogfest, Hosted by myself, Hannah and Summer.
By our powers combined...We made a blogfest!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Eye-Candy Blogfest

Yay! Today is the Eye-Candy Blogfest hosted by Vicki Rocho.

Here are the deets:

On January 1st, post a favorite picture. Then cruise around and admire all the shots everyone else put up. You can post any picture you want (ummm...PG-13 please) as long as it's something that makes you smile or say 'ahhhh' every time you see it.

Could it get any easier? You can write about your picture if you are so inclined, but that's not necessary.

You think it'd be easy to pick one fun picture, right? But it's not. It's not. I finally narrowed it down to a few guys and a few pics and then just decided to screw it and go with Jensen. Because who the hell doesn't like Jensen Ackles? No one, that's who.


Now, time to go around and check out all the other pics. Yay!
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